Monday, March 26, 2012

Harry Crane (Head of Media) and his Pay at SCDP in 1966

Roger Sterling pays Harry Crane $1100 to give up his windowed office in Mad Men S05E01. This supposedly equals his net monthly take home pay. Looking at historical tax rates at the (US) Tax Foundation on can calculate that Crane is making about $20K in the middle of 1966. According to Measuring Worth that has a economic value of somewhere between $200K and $350K.

The Tax foundation also has inflation adjusted numbers. Measuring Worth however has measures more than just straight inflation rates but also the relative economic value, or clout, of money in the past.

There is another thing about this scene. Roger Sterling is walking around with the equivalent of $10 grand in his pocket. For the same relative value the US should have a $1000 bill. The Euro comes in 500 Euro bills. To fight the drug war the US made handling of large sums of money difficult and expensive in time and regulation. The other reason why the Roger Sterling's of today don't walk around with wads of wads of cash large enough to wear out their pockets is because of credit cards. Today Roger Sterling would have a black AMEX and only just enough currency to tip well.

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